Monday, March 10, 2014

"The Zombie's Lament" Purchased by Big Pulp Magazine

 Photo: from Big Pulp's Facebook page

Mr. Bill Olver and all of the other good folks at Big Pulp have purchased the rights to my short story "The Zombie's Lament" for its anthology series.  Volume One of this anthology will hit the stores, online and physical, in June 2014.  Volume Two will be published in April 2015.  That one will have my story.

So if you like zombies--and who doesn't?!?--save your pennies and buy Volume One from Big Pulp in June.  And, it goes without saying, but if you know me, you know I'll say it anyway: Mark April 2015 on your calendar to buy the volume with my story in it.  No, seriously, go mark it right now.  Please?

What is Big Pulp?  Well, here it is, straight from the editor, Bill Olver, from Big Pulp's website:

On March 3, 2008, we debuted with Simon Petrie's "Dragonsick", the opening story in our first quarterly online journal. At the time, I had no idea what kind of response we'd get from writers or readers. I worried that no one would submit to an unknown market and that readers wouldn't find us on the web. I also didn't know much about putting together a website, designing a publication, working with writers and artists, writing contracts, or selling anything. 

In retrospect, there was a lot I didn't know. 

But I did know good stories when I read them. I knew what I liked and I knew I wanted to create something I didn't see on the newsstand - a venue that mixed and crossed genres, was open to new writers, and pushed against the envelope of what's considered genre fiction. 

Did we succeed? Some days more than others, but over the past six years, we've refined and redefined our offerings, with each iteration getting closer to the vision I set out to achieve. We've published hundreds of stories and poems, which in combination have created a brand alongside of genre - the Big Pulp story.

At best, a Big Pulp story is smart, literate, and thought-provoking. It's got attitude, rarely takes itself too seriously, and isn't afraid to poke where it doesn't belong. It defies expectations and tropes. It hits you where you live and sometimes in the nuts. A Big Pulp story is sci-fi, it's fantasy, it might be a mystery or horror or romance, but it's rarely what you expect. 

In December 2010, Big Pulp moved into print. In 2013, we branched out into themed anthologies with Clones, Fairies & Monsters in the Closet  [...] and The Kennedy Curse. And now in 2014, we're launching a new line of publications that will continue to mix and match conventions and stretch the boundaries of what genre can do. 

Six years! I can't believe how quickly the time has passed or how far we've come as a small press. I'm proud of what we've accomplished and the writers we've published. 

Happy anniversary to us, our writers and artists, and all our readers! We couldn't have done it without you, and we hope you'll stick with us for our seventh year and beyond! 

Bill Olver

So there you have it.  It's good stuff, so check it out, and look for mine in 15 months.  Yeah, I know, but that's publishing. 

Monday March 10, 2014

Yes, it's been awhile.  I was really, really sick (again) with a headcold that wiped me out.  I was barely able to function at work at all, but I went in because an event I coach had its competition this past Sunday (actually, yesterday, now that I think about it).  So I went to work and came home, had some soup, and slept.  Since last Thursday, maybe Wednesday, March 5th or 6th.  Saturday I slept all day, went to the group meeting, then returned and went to sleep.  The competition was Sunday.  I awoke at 6 a.m., met everyone at 7 a.m., got to the competition by 8 a.m.  And I got home from the competition at 8 p.m.  At which time I went to sleep.  Today I slept until about 10 a.m., and had to catch up on house things and my job.  And now I'm still tired and about to go to bed. 

I know we're supposed to write regardless, but I couldn't function at all.

And that's the end of my whining.  For now.

But a good, big post coming up... 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Edited 1,500 words yesterday into another draft.

Completed draft and typed out final draft today, finishing about an hour ago.

"The Pipes" will be submitted soon.  Let's hope it finds a good home.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Took Wednesday off, mostly out of exhaustion.

Thursday night: After reading a few short stories by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend; Hell House; 7 Steps to Midnight; The Shrinking Man; A Stir of Echoes; What Dreams May Come; and the famous Twilight Zone episode when William Shatner sees a sky-creature tearing apart the wing of a plane--"Terror at 20,000 Feet"), I realized that writers like him (and many short story writers) write down whatever thoughts occur to them that have any resonance and sticking power at all, and then see what happens.  This might sound like, "Well, duh," but when I say any thoughts at all, I mean any thoughts at all.  And so I did that--and out poured about 1,500 words, handwritten.  An almost-completed short story, all at once!  And it's among my best yet.

Title, "The Pipes."  Look for a blog about what magazine or online magazine bought it.  I'm serious.  It's that good--and I don't fall in love with my own writing that often.  I'm submitting this weekend.

By the way, Matheson's short stories that brought that home: "Crickets."  Now, listen to this.  According to his short notes after the story, Matheson's just sitting around outside one summer night, listening to the crickets.  And, as writers of his genre will, he thought: "What if the crickets are communicating something.  What if they're communicating the names of people who will die soon?"  [Sort of like the Pre-cogs in Minority Report, in a way.]  "What if some guy finally figures that out?  And so the crickets have to get him."

So, these are crickets, right?  Crickets knowing what people will die soon?  And communicating that?  To...whom?  To what?  And, why?  And, this is what hit me hardest when I was done: "John Morgan?  Harold Galloway?  Jean Galloway?" [These are the last three names mentioned in the story.]  "The crickets must only be communicating the names of very local people.  And even then, how many John Morgans can there be in a decently populated area?  Maybe...25?  50?  How does anyone (or anything) know which John Morgan it is?"  But the point is that you don't think those things until after the story's done.  And it was an oddly effective and creepy story.

The essence, perhaps, of fiction: You start with a silly thought, work it to an odd premise--and that you write something good, or at least effective, with it.

That's what I think I did.  I wrote about basement pipes.  I really did.  Well, kind of.

Anyway: 1,500 words, handwritten.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

716 words on a blog and a short story.  Non-novel, but productive, things happening.  Had to make a major decision or two about the novel, which took awhile, and I took a few notes about it.  But a corner was turned and I'll hit it hard tomorrow.

Did other work for other writings, including some research about a blog that will offer these (already published and the rights have reverted back to me) works for sale.  Also researched other promotional items, like bookmarks and such.  And I found out how I can get a lot of them for free--or, almost free.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Just under 1,000 words for a short story and a couple of other non-novel things.  Back to work to pay The Man and the writing was a little slow because I was a wee bit exhausted.  I didn't do much, but I did it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

1,900 words.  Chapter 26 is done.  Really proud of myself, because tonight's writing came out very, very painfully, and slowly.  This was the kind of night that I usually let go because I didn't have the perseverance to stick with it even though it wasn't going to be my best.  But I don't have the time for some perfectionism anymore.  If it doesn't come out as my best, I'll make it that way when I go back again and again and edit it.

And that's what I did.

Vacation's over.  Back to work tomorrow.  I need to have the perseverance to write tomorrow, even if I come home from work and I'm beat.  I've got to do it anyway.  It's got to get done.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2,166 words.  Done with Chapter 25, one of the longest in the WIP.  Made a couple of important decisions, split up a huge chapter from the previous draft.  Will create a new chapter tomorrow, then Chapter 27 will be the second half of what had been Chapter 25 in the previous draft.  Nobody likes really long chapters. 

Chapter 25 is a little longer than most in the WIP, but much of it's dialogue, and it was really important to set up a bond, no matter how minor, between the main character and a minor one.  This was a glaring omission from previous drafts.  Before, saving her had been just something he needed to do.  Now, her character's got more of a connection with him, which makes you care more for her character, which makes you want her to be saved, which makes his race to save her even more tense.

All in theory, of course.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

1,178 words so far of Chapter 25 of WIP.  Working very hard not to make it an info-dump chapter, or just straight exposition, or just a straight-up flashback.  So far, so good.  And there are a few really important decisions I have to make in this chapter, which often takes more time than actually writing it.  Some chapters are easier than others.  But I'm very happy with this one.

Hopefully there'll be more to come tonight.  I can feel it, but I don't want to blow a fuse.  And life has to happen, too.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Four pages, 827 words, all of Chapter 24 of WIP.

A kick ass chapter.  Took a few hours, which felt like a few minutes.

1,258 words of what I think is one of my best blogs, ever, at this link:  Oops, now that I look at it, I see I wrote and published this on the 19th.  Oh, well.

Yes, I know that's shameless self-advertising.  And, yes, long blog entries of a good quality count as writing.

And writing over 2,000 words in one day, when I've been struggling to write anything at all, is nothing to sneeze at.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Okay, now that the shoveling is done and I'm trying to get everything back to normal, here we go.  I've missed being away, and don't think that I've been idle.  I haven't been writing as much, or as often, as I'd like, but I haven't been standing still, either.

Six handwritten pages, about 1,000 or so words, of another novel.  Straight out of the blue, tying up some loose ends and paving all of the disparate things over.

Felt wonderful and exhilarating.

I'm back.  ::crosses fingers::

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hangin' In There

It might not seem like it, but I'm hangin' in there, with writing, with life, with everything.  Though it's taken a little bit out of me lately, I'm still plugging away.  Not thousands of words per day, or even a thousand words per day; nor, sometimes, a large enough accumulation of words to comment about here, but I'm putting one foot in front of the other.

Since last post, I've worked on:

--a review

--a short story

--a chapter for a different novel

--a memoir

--other assorted pieces

--other blogs.

So if you've logged in and thought: "Well, that was a good idea that hasn't gone well," have no fear.  I've been sluggin' through.  I've got a vacation coming up soon, so I should be here more often.  The goal, every day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's been almost a month since my last report, but not because I haven't been writing.  In fact, lately:

--I wrote a book review for a mystery website (more information to come) and went through a few drafts, for a total of about 2,100 words.

--I re-wrote a short story and sent it out.  Total of about 4,800 words.

--And I've written a few more chapters.  Total of about 7,000 words.

Not writing as much as I would've liked, but I'm not stressing it (like I usually do) because there's been lots of illness, lots of work at the main job, and a few other freelance things that made some money.

So I'm hanging in there and doing it--just not as often as I'd like.

But isn't that always the case, for almost every writer?